When is your character's problem not your problem?

edited October 2013 in Story Games
My introduction to RPGs included lots of adversarial GMing and challenges to the players to cleverly navigate the fiction. Like many other players in my early groups, I got into the habit of treating every new piece of fiction introduced by the GM as a potential threat. There was theorizing and measuring and strategizing galore, because these threats were serious! Make a wrong move, and my precious character might be killed, or imprisoned, or level-drained, or might lose my favorite magic items! The way we played, the point of playing was pretty much to avoid those fates -- to stay alive long enough to prosper and become badass enough to fight the coolest beasties in the Monster Manual. Getting killed or jailed or robbed felt like losing, and so we all tried to win instead. Given that my only tool (well, besides criticizing the GM) was my character, there was an exact correspondence in adversity -- if my character's in trouble, I'm in trouble. If they're faced with loss, I dread that loss and do everything I can to avoid it. If they've got a problem, yo, I'll solve it. That's what I'm here to do, to sweat the adversity.

My foray into indie RPGs 15 years later introduced me to an extremely different formula. Playing Primetime Adventures at my first convention, I saw the players around me gleefully leading their characters into peril. They relished the tight spots while they were happening. This was a bit of a shock! I'd only relished tight spots after the fact, in celebration of victory, or in contemplation of avenging loss. "Now my character has this juicy choice to make" was a concept I quickly bought into over the course of 3 hours, seeing how everyone at the table perked up and took notice at those moments, despite the fact that dismemberment wasn't on the line, and no one was losing too much sweat in trying to avoid it even if it was.

Since then, I've played many sessions of many games with an attitude of "embrace character trouble". It turns out that metagame resources, authority beyond what my character does, peril that doesn't involve losing life or levels, and one-shot games with characters I'll never play again, are all pretty common occurrences in the circles I've played in. My earlier habit of "fear the GM's threats and fight like hell to avoid/overcome them" is long since dead, with "embrace character trouble" just as natural to me at this point.

This is where it gets interesting. Instead of having one default attitude to take into all RPGs, I've wound up with this huge bag of different approaches informed by different experiences, so that when I see a new game, I'm playing mix-and-match. Sometimes consciously, sometimes not. When my character is going to unseal that vault, and I hear the guards' footsteps in the distance, how will I respond?

"Oh crap, if they show up they might imprison me, or kill me if I resist! Can't have that! Must run! Must hide! Or can I trick them somehow?!"

"Oh cool, if they show up then I'll get to deal with this quandary! Maybe I'll wind up scarred by 20 years in prison, or maybe I'll recruit them as henchman for my upcoming coup! Neato!"

Until I see the new game's feedback and rewards and consequences in action, I'm just guessing at what will be most fun, right now, with the group I'm playing with. If the game doesn't push us in a particular direction, we'll wind up doing what comes naturally, based on prior experience and how we play together. When I try out a new game, I hope that it does provide such a push -- otherwise, I'd be more likely to play a game I already know instead. However, having become aware of my options, at this point only the strongest pushes register. If I'm with an "embrace trouble" group in an "embrace trouble" mood, encouraging or allowing me to sweat adversity simply isn't enough. The adversity needs teeth, for real, non-negotiably, in a way that no player can dodge without cheating. Similarly, if my group is all geared up to sweat adversity, we're not going to stop strategizing and simply embrace trouble unless the game truly rewards us for playing that way.

So, what do you all think? Have you experienced this freedom to process RPG "adversity" however you like? If so, is it a good thing, a problem, or both? Do you intuit how a game "wants" you to play it? Do you have enough game options that distinguish themselves via powerful incentives, and do you continue to find more? Or do they all blend together to the point where you don't care about stakes and resolution outcomes, and you find the fun in other aspects of a game?

Comments

  • edited October 2013
    The indie attitude, as I see it, is that no outcome is either good or bad- at least not in the traditional sense- because the roleplaying and the narrative are more important than 'winning' or 'losing'; also, every outcome adds to the fiction being created, so you can't really win or lose in indie games. Forex, I played Robin Laws' new game Hillfolk this afternoon, and at the end my character died- poisoned while attempting to poison another character- and I accepted it because it made the story interesting. Does that mean that I'm not invested in my character? That I don't care whether 'my guy' lives or dies? Not at all, it's just that I recognise that there's a greater objective in play, that of the overall narrative. Not sure if that helps you at all, but that's my two cents FWIW.
  • edited October 2013
    Well said! You care about your character, but the greater objective causes you to quickly accept them being poisoned. This sounds fun to me (and familiar!), but depending on the particulars, I might find myself wishing Hillfolk's resolution system had added more to the equation. What do you think?
  • edited October 2013
    Post moved to this thread.
  • If one of the options is victory, then I'm going to want victory, because seriously: fuck misery when happiness and fun are behind the other door.

    But if it's only a choice between different miseries, I can embrace that. There's something fun about scrambling to find an answer your character can maybe live with even though it's clearly wrong and terrible and not what anyone would willingly choose if there were better alternatives. I can get into the desperation that makes a character dig himself in deeper and deeper because it's the only direction left to him.

    I can't do nothing but tight spots with no good answers for weeks on end (and maybe not even for a full four-hour game session, if I'm being brutally honest), but as far as exciting, climactic, memorable conflicts go, it's great. Better than just putting the character's life at stake, by far: if you really want me to get sucked into a scene, just put my character in a tight spot with only bad choices left to him and I'll have a fantastic time with it.

    Just, y'know, be aware that at some point I'm going to get exhausted by the awfulness and will want the game to let me play happiness and fun again.
  • If it makes me "out" of the game, I'll want to avoid trouble. As long as I'm still in it (or it's near the end of the session and I won't be "out" for long), I tend to go for whichever is better for the story and more fun or interesting for the group as a whole. Sometimes, this means up to and including death for my character.... unless I'm very attached to them (in which case, it goes into risk-management mode).

    The integrity of the story is my main concern. I have maneuvered my characters into bad situations intentionally (sometimes having spent several sessions to do so). I've likewise spent several sessions working to put other characters into terrible situations. All of this because it seemed "right" for characters and story direction.

    If getting in trouble leads to things that would make the game less fun for the group as a whole (for example - getting in trouble might lead to changing the tone of the game from friendly adventuring to "crap, now we have to deal with a race war between humans and elves... thanks", or losing a level may make it difficult for the group to survive the next challenge) then it's certainly a big deterrent towards taking those risks or exploring that possibility of the story.

    If something my character would do risks compromising the fun/interest of the story, I'll generally take it to meta. "Hey guys, if you don't stop my character, X is going to happen." And I'm perfectly fine with suggesting ways for the other players to avert the potential crisis, ex: "If you tell him [whatever], he'll agree with your plan." But I'm not going to just go, "Well, I'll go against six sessions of established behavior for my character and ignore this because it's inconvenient."

    I've rarely played in games where things like permanently losing benefits was on the table. Usually, it was something that could be regained through the story (ie: a quest), expired after a certain amount of game-time, or (possibly) replaced with something else I wanted/my character wanted. So, in the end, the idea of my character's problem being my problem isn't very familiar to me. Even character death usually has some sort of "out" possibility.
  • Two things: Reinforcement and Victory conditions. If you see everyone on the table having fun for cleverly putting your character on the spot to make the overall story more interesting, you start to relax and have fun that way, that's positive reinforcement of an attitude. If everyone is scared about seeing their characters die, you may probably start to care more about it, and this isn't exactly equal to character investment -I've seen players invest less in their characters for the fear of seeing them gone on a bad roll- but more like investing in protecting your fun, your link to the game, group and fiction. That's more like negative reinforcement, in terms of having players actively create a story instead of just following it and make choices.

    About Victory conditions, these doesn't always are what the game states, specially in RPGs where rules mosto of the time doesn't state them. It's more like a perceived thing, players will create their own by what they infere from the group dynamic. Tes there might be victory conditions inside the fiction, but outside there might be different ones and they will take precedence over the former.
  • This conversation seems related to Vincent Baker's recent posts on what the object of a game is. See, for example: http://lumpley.com/index.php/anyway/thread/744

    I've played games where the object of the game is not clear to (or understood to be shared by) all players at the table, so by default, most of my friends gravitate toward a D&D-inspired mindset that "victory" for characters is equivalent to "winning" for players. I've been trying to introduce my friends to other kinds of systems that incentivize complicating PCs' lives, like granting them Fate Points for accepting complications or failure, or running dramatic one-shots where they go in knowing that tragedy or death is part of the goal. I'm not sure if the attitude that character problem ≠ player problem will translate back to games with less clearly stated objects/goals, but it's definitely giving us something to talk about and expanding the kinds of play we do.
  • ...in Call of Cthulhu!

    (in response to the thread title, and with tongue firmly in cheek)
  • I think it's worth noting that this issue is one of the major controversies surrounding capital-N Narrativism and indie gaming. One of the big things that a lot of trad gamers don't like is stepping outside their character's shoes and having to, for example, frame a scene—even worse if they have to work against what their character wants.

    But I think it's important to point out that this formulation is a bit of a strawman. Much of Narr play depends very heavily on advocating for your character as strongly as possible. MLWM, Dogs, BW, etc.

    Matt
  • Right on, Matt!

    Although I have seen people play that type of game with the "let's see how fucked up I can make things for my character!" approach. Sometimes it can be really jarring! The first time I played Polaris, I drove my character towards a tragic end in a certain scene... and the whole game practically crashed, since there was no one to oppose my narration. Ouch. Really not fun.

    Sometimes it works out OK, though (the expression "playing to lose" seems relevant here). I wonder if there's a line to be found in there?
  • My headspace is one major factor. If I can take a mental step backwards and say to myself, "You are not bad or stupid. Your character did something dumb -- run with that," I can have a lot of fun being hosed.

    As a GM, I have found that if I am open and say, "What do you think about your PC being hosed in X way?" I get player + GM conspiring against PC. This works, and often leads to players having fun being meaner to their PCs than I would ever think of being.
  • edited October 2013
    As a GM, I have found that if I am open and say, "What do you think about your PC being hosed in X way?" I get player + GM conspiring against PC. This works, and often leads to players having fun being meaner to their PCs than I would ever think of being.
    I like this. It strikes me as a very Stanislavskiesque kind of way of handling it, where the player takes a "step back" and becomes is more of a puppet master for it's character. This is also what I talked about in Vincent Baker's threads, that JasonT linked to above: that the player's object of the game doesn't have to be the same as the character's object.
  • edited October 2013
    Matt, agreed -- conflating "indie", "Narrativist", and "step outside my character and not really advocate for them" is a shame. These are all different things. I do get where the mistake comes from, though -- if one does find a "step outside my character and not really advocate for them" game, it probably will be a Narr-aimed indie.
  • edited October 2013
    As for player goals not being identical to character goals, I think this illustrates why a mechanic intended to incentivize a character won't necessarily incentivize the player. An outcome that's bad for my character and good for an exciting story isn't necessarily unwelcome, and it may not change my behavior the way the designer hopes it will. Vincent and I had a long argument about this -- he kept saying, "See, you wouldn't want this to happen!" and I kept saying, "That's not actually true. My AW character is a ruthless bastard and I kinda want some dramatic badness to happen to him."

    Personally, I get most invested in my character's fate going a certain way when I myself am applying my efforts toward that end. If it doesn't take effort, or if I'm flexible about where it goes, then it's hard to effectively threaten me. This is fine sometimes, but other times I want a game to threaten me, y'know?

    I'm not just talking about threats of death and efforts to survive. A failed objective is an excellent threat. Part of what I like about Dogs in the Vineyard is that you can fail to fix the town by doing too little, or you can fail to fix the town by doing too much. Once I'm hell bent on fixing the town, those risks are effective threats. "I don't want to punch this guy, but if I don't..."
  • I agree with what you said, based on your perspective.
    Personally, I get most invested in my character's fate going a certain way when I myself am applying my efforts toward that end. If it doesn't take effort, or if I'm flexible about where it goes, then it's hard to effectively threaten me. This is fine sometimes, but other times I want a game to threaten me, y'know?
    To see this from another point: what if you're applying your efforts in making the story go in a certain way, but not by including the character?

    I think people are somewhat blinded in that they must be invested in their character to feel threatened. I guess this mostly depends on how we normally play traditional roleplaying games. How about being invested in the setting, or making the mechanics go in a certain way? That takes effort too.
  • edited October 2013
    I've encountered very few games in which "make this story go a certain way" was an acceptable objective to pursue in the face of threats or resistance. I've certainly had preferences about how a game goes, but Universalis and Annalise are the only games I can think of where the rules and social contract support me in striving toward those as goals.

    If I'm missing your point, maybe give me an example? When did a game mechanic jeopardize something you were truly invested in, such that you reversed or at least questioned your action?
  • edited October 2013
    Arkham Horror is using game mechanics to jeopardize your goal in beating the game. I'm guessing you've played it (Pandemic is another example). It's not a roleplaying game, but I'm using it to better point out how it could work, and also because very few roleplaying games (no English ones anyway) are using this to it's fully extent. It doesn't have to be the game versus the players, but it's one example at least.

    To make the story go in certain way can sometimes be what the game master is invested in, but that's a side track, because you're clearly talking about the players. When I write about fighting for the story, I had in mind a tug of war between the participants (with no game master) to make their story be the dominant. You could also collaborate to make all story elements work together, and that takes effort too, often in combination of the game rules. Like in The Coyotes of Chicago.
  • Vincent's formulation of "system is there to introduce the unwelcome" intersects in an interesting way with the importance of character advocacy. In some games, harm to your character (whether physical, material, or through loss of NPCs he cares about, etc.) is supposed to be unwelcome. And if it's not, if you relish bad things happening to your character, then perhaps there's a mismatch between the game's design goals and your preferences or your psychological makeup vis-a-vis your RPG characters.

    But this certainly isn't a universal principle, and in some games the unwelcome might be the exact opposite! Fiasco, for instance: the mechanics could dictate a positive outcome for someone we hate.

    Paul T — Polaris is a super-interesting example. The mechanics are very meta in how you use them, but you definitely are supposed to use them to advocate for your character when you're the Heart. I think it's a very understandable mix-up.

    My biggest crash and burn with Polaris came when I did too good a job, as Mistaken, of making the Heart I was playing against despair and want to end her life. We were still, by the rules, at least a few rounds of scenes away from the possibility of her dying. But the in-fiction situation had grown so grim that she just wanted to commit suicide.

    Matt
  • Yeah, it's easy to imagine a group of D&D players approaching the game as though it was CoC. They delve deeper and deeper, losing their minds, becoming more and more reckless, and eventually throw themselves into the teeth of fearsome danger, all while screaming about the futility of it all. In other words, they don't consider harm to their character to be unwelcome, and expect death as the final result.

    If you're the DM/GM... what in the world do you do?
  • edited October 2013
    Huh. I wonder if the primary motivating threat in CoC play is "You never find out what's going on." Quite powerful, but also pretty un-fun if it actually comes to pass.

    Matt, "you're supposed to do X" leaves me underwhelmed when the game doesn't directly incentivize that, instead hoping to get to the player via the character. With effective player incentives, hopefully everyone in the group will be on the same page simply by playing. Without such incentives, it can be an annoying effort for a facilitator to keep reminding everyone, "This is more fun if you really invest in your character and push hard for their triumph and well-being!"

    I'm not trying to set the "worthwhile game" bar at "utterly forces you to play it right"; I just wish that more of the cool concept games I've tried out would have gone a little farther in that direction.
  • Huh. I wonder if the primary motivating threat in CoC play is "You never find out what's going on." Quite powerful, but also pretty un-fun if it actually comes to pass.
    I think that nails it very well.

  • Matt, "you're supposed to do X" leaves me underwhelmed when the game doesn't directly incentivize that, instead hoping to get to the player via the character. With effective player incentives, hopefully everyone in the group will be on the same page simply by playing. Without such incentives, it can be an annoying effort for a facilitator to keep reminding everyone, "This is more fun if you really invest in your character and push hard for their triumph and well-being!"

    I'm not trying to set the "worthwhile game" bar at "utterly forces you to play it right"; I just wish that more of the cool concept games I've tried out would have gone a little farther in that direction.
    I don't think there is such a thing as universal direct incentives. For example, many games give you experience points for doing X, but it's not uncommon for players to get into just playing the game and ignore the point rewards (or even to deliberately avoid point rewards). Players just differ in what they find rewarding.
  • Sure, I hear you, Dave. I'm just saying that AW is one game whose mechanics you might not get the most out of if you're not playing in a strongly actor-stance way.

    I don't know that there's a good way to incentivize that without interfering with other design goals.

    Matt
  • I certainly don't have an answer to that particular example. Brainstorming... if I wanted to encourage actor stance, I might attempt to relate character goals ("Hey, that thing your guy is hell bent on right now?") to player win conditions ("We'll end the game when you achieve it or fail to."), but I'm sure that wouldn't work for everyone, and it might somehow hose AW in the process. So, yeah, it's certainly possible that there are good reasons why those games I wish had stronger threats/incentives don't.

    John, I agree that there's no such thing as systems that everyone finds rewarding, but I do think there are such things as systems that elicit consistent response. In any board game where the objective is to spend your finite turns on maximizing victory points, every player will, in fact, do that on their turn. If they wind up not liking it, they'll play another game. Given the number of RPGs out there, I'd prefer to approach them the same way. Y'know, try out a game that actually makes me do a new and different thing, and then see if I like it. Recently, I've been happily getting that in terms of interesting sets of creative responsibilities/opportunities, but not in terms of threats/incentives.
  • John, I agree that there's no such thing as systems that everyone finds rewarding, but I do think there are such things as systems that elicit consistent response. In any board game where the objective is to spend your finite turns on maximizing victory points, every player will, in fact, do that on their turn. If they wind up not liking it, they'll play another game. Given the number of RPGs out there, I'd prefer to approach them the same way. Y'know, try out a game that actually makes me do a new and different thing, and then see if I like it. Recently, I've been happily getting that in terms of interesting sets of creative responsibilities/opportunities, but not in terms of threats/incentives.
    I believe that there are RPGs that make you personally do new and different things.

    However, I don't think there are any RPGs with a consistent response - certainly none with the consistency of typical board games. Some are more or less consistent than others - but I believe that has to do with genre, color, and expectation as much as direct incentives.
  • Reading this thread, I realize that I have three distinct modes in roleplaying:
    1) Playing my character as someone who wants to realize their goals and avoid bad stuff without being too much of a villain along the way, i.e. conventional morality.
    2) What I think of as "Amber mode" -- playing a character who wants something really, really strongly and will do whatever it takes to get there. This is fun in very specific contexts, like in games of Amber, Vampire, Sorcerer etc. In many games, this kind of character doesn't work too well and acts as a buzzkill.
    3) The third mode is a lot like the first one, but minus the stuff about avoiding villainy. Basically playing a opportunist. This works well for Apocalypse World, WFRP, etc, or in games where it seems fun to play the bad cop or semi-reformed villain of the group.

    That's really about it; I pick from that limited palette of character types mostly based on the expectations of that game and that group of players, without much consideration of mechanical rewards, usually. I'm not very good at shaping my play to maximize mechanical advantage, though; in AW-type games, I always end up rolling with the stats that aren't highlighted and don't get as many XP as the other players.
  • Yeah, I guess "type of character" is tied into "player relationship to character" and thus investment. I've certainly gotten very attached to characters based purely on their fictional exploits, without any relevant rules beyond "there's a GM who may not always give you everything you want". Even if you aren't threatened with death, you can still be threatened with missed opportunities to take this character somewhere you really wanted to take them.

    I'm thinking almost entirely of campaign games here.

    Is there an equivalent for one-shots? The best I can think of is when another player did such a good job of playing an antagonist I loathed (shout out to Jon Eisenstein!), that I really wanted to see my character win when in conflict with theirs. The relevant system is "anything that makes one player's character prevail over another's." Facing off against my friends tends to bring out my competitive side, and then the character's effort becomes my effort.
  • Is there an equivalent for one-shots? The best I can think of is when another player did such a good job of playing an antagonist I loathed (shout out to Jon Eisenstein!), that I really wanted to see my character win when in conflict with theirs. The relevant system is "anything that makes one player's character prevail over another's." Facing off against my friends tends to bring out my competitive side, and then the character's effort becomes my effort.
    I think this is an interesting question that can help highlight the difference between player goals and character goals. In a one-shot, it feels like less of a big deal if your character gets totally screwed as long as it's interesting. When I ran a Dust Devils one-shot, for instance, my friend had a blast playing a deputy fallen from grace into drinking – and finally sacrificing himself in the final scene to take out all the bad guys. The PC "prevailed" by redeeming himself with his sacrifice; the player "prevailed" by having his character go through a dramatic arc, go down in a blaze of glory, and bring it to a Western-movie-style conclusion.
  • One shots are an interesting beast. In one very good Call of Cthulhu game, my PC died about a half hour before the end of game, something I didn't know until the game ended. This was not a problem for me as I was watching the awful truth come out -- the truth we all knew was coming OOC -- and players doing their damndest to stay true to the mood and go where their character would go, however dark. There was a clear separation between players and PCs there, not because the PCs were unlikeable (they were mostly likeable, just in a very bad spot), but because we knew where things were going.
  • edited October 2013
    One shots are an interesting beast. In one very good Call of Cthulhu game, my PC died about a half hour before the end of game, something I didn't know until the game ended. This was not a problem for me as I was watching the awful truth come out -- the truth we all knew was coming OOC -- and players doing their damndest to stay true to the mood and go where their character would go, however dark. There was a clear separation between players and PCs there, not because the PCs were unlikeable (they were mostly likeable, just in a very bad spot), but because we knew where things were going.
    I think it's CoC that's the interesting beast. The problem you've highlighted IMO is the fact that most people playing in most games of CoC know right from the start that they're all going to die horribly, they're just playing to find out how. Whether or not that's counter-immersive (which is what we're kinda skating around in this thread) is open to question, but it does make for a sort of curds and whey type separation of player and character. Whether that's a problem I'm not sure, I don't think it would be for me but, as I say, COC is a bit of a special case.
  • Another thought just occurred to me. Some RPGs have game goals that are completely different than the goals a player adopts when making character decisions. This can produce a tension where investing too much in one goal ruins enjoyment of the other goal. See: every RPG session where a player is obsessed with their character succeeding but the game produces stories more than winners and losers.

    Perhaps a clearer example is the game Telephone. The point of playing is to receive a hilariously garbled message at the end, and the formal procedures are a series of whispers. But there's another rule, which instructs you to Try to repeat the message faithfully. Even though that's the opposite of why you're playing!

    I see some value in this rule -- without being given the goal of "repeat faithfully", players would just garble at will, and there'd be nothing to struggle against or contend with. But in practice, I've noticed two things:

    1) It's possible to get a message all the way through un-garbled, and when this happens, the result is no fun.

    2) It's possible to cheat, forgo struggle, garble at will, and have more fun, as long as people garble subtly rather than just making stuff up. In effect, they're better able to pursue the object of the game if they reject the momentary object of their assigned task.

    When an RPG encourages you to play a rational, motivated character, and gives you the tools to optimize their decisions toward achieving their ends... and then tells you "play with a bunch of folks for the purpose of seeing what happens to y'all's characters"... then it's natural to, y'know, cheat at Telephone.

    At the extreme: Why seriously advocate for my dude if "what happens" looks neater when my guy acts like a moron?

    At less of an extreme: I'm seriously advocating for my dude, but with a bit of a wink and an awareness that bad shit for him is often good for the game.

    The point: a ruleset (e.g. a conflict system) may have pretty solid incentives within the context of that system, but if those don't also relate to the point of play, there's still a risk of character investment falling flat. If you want to prioritize character investment, it may be best to have your Task Objects support your Game Objects directly.
  • Good point, Dave. My most common experience of that phenomenon is people *failing* to optimize their characters, through either builds or (even more annoyingly) via their in-game actions, in challenge-based play.

    The typical example is the thief who steals shit from the rest of the party for no reason. The player is playing with the goal of wacky character portrayal, but this actually goes against the systematized goals.

    Matt
  • Hadn't thought of that! Good call. I normally think of "fight for my character's fate" as a strong incentive, but that's not true when it's not the type of fate the player is interested in. "Why bother with all these rolls just to determine if my guy survives and I can keep playing? Can't we just say that he survives, and then move onto covering how Elfy and Thiefy he is?"
  • I wrote a long ass piece n a thread about original D&D kicking ass as a wargame. In that context, a thief stealing from party members may be using poor long term methods, but isn't actually playing against the systematized goals of play, provided t's a large player pool/irregular groupings context ( which is what old forms of D&D were designed for).

    I mean, t's poor long term method like trying to treat Diplomacy like a hex n chit wargame is poor method, but not actually at odds with the sys'd goals.
  • This piece by Ben Robbins comes to mind.

    I’ve thought a lot about it and I like nailing down for any particular game what is the overlap between your capabilities as a participant to affect the game world and your capabilities as a character to affect the game world. I don’t necessarily think one or the other of the two modes is better or worse and I like a hybrid best – but a hybrid that’s very strictly defined/designed according to some thought-out design goals.

    For exampel in Fiasco you can be resolving a scene you’re a part of.

    While in D&D you can’t.

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